LET'S GOOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS WIN THE BIG ONE
If you are looking for a non-rooting article on the Final Four you have come to the wrong place. I am a proud West Virginian and I root like hell for my Mountaineers. I was elated last night as I saw my Mountaineers eat Wildcat steak for supper, and earn only their second trip to the Final Four in the history of West Virginia University.
I can remember watching Jerry West, and his teammates (including Ronnie Retton, father of Olympian Mary Lou) play in the final game of 1959 against the California Golden Bears. They gave it all they had, but just came up a little short in their bid for The National Championship.
This year I’ve said all along this Mountaineer team was capable of winning or losing to anyone, but they have elevated their game at just the right time to actually claim the prize they are seeking both for themselves and all Proud West Virginians. This team showed a mixture of skills as the seniors were recruited by previous coach John Beilein, but now are led by WVU alumnus Bob Huggins. They played a lot like a Beilein team with the mixture of a Huggins coached grind em’ out style. The three point shooting was more like a Beilein team as was the use of the 1-3-1 defense, but the driving of Joe Mazzulla, and inside toughness of DeSean Butler (third all time scorer behind West and Hot Rod Hundley and leader in games played) was pure Huggins coaching. Mazzulla who spent all last year recuperating from shoulder surgery to repair a congenital defect and who also re-injured that same left shoulder early in the season really came through big against the Wildcats. He scored a career high 17 points and was player of the game.
Not since the days of Major Harris have the Mountaineers been this close to a major collegiate championship and all Mountaineer faithful think this could be the year!!!
Two more wins to exceed the accomplishment they’ve already made by winning 31 games while losing 6. The previous high in wins was in that 1959 season when West’s Mountaineer team went 29-5. All Mountaineer fans want to see that 31 win total soar into the stratosphere to 33 and a National Championship season!!!!!!!!!
This team is on a mission of that there can be no doubt. They truly love one another and coach Bob (Huggie Bear) Huggins who was an academic All American when he played for the Mountaineers 1975-1977. Even though they are mostly from the New York City/ New Jersey area (Mazzulla is from Rhode Island) they all love their adoptive state and the feeling is mutual!!!
I am very superstitious about sports so I won’t make a prediction about the outcome but you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be rooting for my Mountaineers. I appreciate the effort so far and this team will always hold a special place in my heart, but if they win it all it will be spectacular!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!